The Electric House (1922)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Slapstick  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Comic filmmaker Buster Keaton always had a love of gadgetry, and that interest in all things mechanical is allowed full expression here. The two-reeler opens up on college graduation day, and the students are receiving their diplomas. The sheepskins get switched around, however, and Buster, a botany major, receives a diploma in electrical engineering. The dean (Joe Roberts) asks him to wire his house while he takes his family on a vacation; with the help of a book called "Electricity Made Easy," Buster does just that, and more. The dean and his family return to find a staircase that functions like an escalator, a Murphy bed that puts itself away, a toy train set that serves meals, a self-racking pool table, and many other unexpected conveniences. The trial run of the house doesn't go off without a few glitches, of course, but things really go haywire (literally) when Buster's rival (the real electrical engineering graduate) sneaks in and begins switching the cables around. It took two attempts for Keaton to complete this film short. The first time around, in 1921, he got his shoe caught in the staircase/ escalator and broke his leg. He was in a cast for seven weeks and dropped the project for over a year. When he commenced shooting again in 1922, he used his own house for the exterior shots of the dean's home.




gadgets, mistaken-identity, rampage, student, technology